When parents divorce or separate, it is necessary to make arrangements for the continued care and financial support of any children involved. California family courts set the welfare of children as a priority and will determine the best support arrangement accordingly. Parents can and should be a part of deciding any court-ordered arrangement, and your San Diego family attorney can assist you in working out the details.
From the outset, both parents are deemed by California courts to retain responsibility for children until they reach the age of 18, or later if the child is still finishing high school. Generally one parent retains majority custody of the children. The courts, along with the Department of Child Support Services will work out a formula for support payments which are in part based upon percentage of custody. For instance, a father who shares joint custody, and therefore cares for the children 50% of the time, will likely pay a lower percentage of child support than a father who has the children 20% of the time.
It is important to keep in mind that the court will grant child support in accordance with the parents’ standard of living. One parent usually has a higher income, and may be required to pay a higher amount accordingly so that the child enjoys the standard of living to which he is accustomed. If you have questions or concerns about payment formulas, a San Diego family attorney can help.
The amount of child support is based on the parents’ gross pay, not their take home. Their living expenses and bills are not given much weight in determining the amount of support. Often the parent providing the lion’s share of support struggles financially as a result, but this is better than the potential consequences of neglecting to pay.
The court will also require one parent to cover the children under their health care coverage. This may necessitate a change in a person’s premiums. If one of the parents is receiving Medi-Cal, they will be required to report that their children are receiving medical coverage from a private company.
It should be noted that non-payment of child support can result in having a professional license revoked, driver’s license and passport suspended, and assets attached.
If you have questions about, or need assistance with a child support issue, call San Diego family attorney for a consultation today. The number is (619) 866-3756.